Israel + 1 more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 06 - 12 Mar 2003

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations
Affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists - Geneva
Member of the International Federation for Human Rights - Paris
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
The International Community Remains Silent While Israeli Human Rights Violations in the OPT Continue

  • 23 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4 children a woman and an old man, killed by Israeli forces

  • Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas, accompanied by indiscriminate shelling

  • Israeli forces continued to use Palestinian civilians as human shields

  • The Israeli retaliatory campaign continues against families of wanted Palestinians and those who allegedly have carried out armed attacks against Israeli targets

  • A number of Palestinians have been detained

  • The severe siege of the OPT has continued

Introduction

This week, Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more illegal military actions against Palestinian civilians and civilian property in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, killing 23 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4 children, a woman and an old man. In addition, dozens were injured and private and public civilian property was destroyed.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted a series of large encroachments into Palestinian areas, using heavy military vehicles and combat helicopters. They killed a number of Palestinians and destroyed a number of houses and civilian facilities. On Thursday, 6 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces invaded Jabalya and its refugee camp. They killed 12 Palestinians and destroyed a number of houses, civilian facilities, streets and electricity, water and telephone supplies. Investigations conducted by PCHR refute claims by Israeli officials that a number of the victims were killed as a result of the explosion of a bomb that was being prepared by Palestinians. These investigations have proved that the victims were killed by an Israeli tank shell, and PCHR is now investigating the possibility that the shell was a flechette shell.[1]

On the following four days, Israeli occupying forces moved into Palestinian areas in the northern Gaza Strip. They closed some of the main roads in the area. They also fired at Palestinian boys who threw stones at the forces. A Palestinian civilian was killed and more than 40 others were wounded by the Israeli gunfire. Dozens of houses, 3 educational institutions and 7 civilian facilities were severely damaged. Israeli forces also razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land, damaged roads and destroyed electricity and water supplies in the area.

As a continuation of the Israeli state-affirmed policy of extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian activists, Israeli forces killed a senior Hamas leader and 3 of his guards on Saturday, 8 March 2003. Four Israeli combat helicopters flew over Gaza city and launched 4 missiles at a civilian car, in which 5 Palestinian civilians were traveling, in a densely populated area in the city.

Israeli occupying forces also shelled Palestinian residential areas and fired at Palestinian civilians, killing 6 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including a child and a woman. Israeli forces shelled a house, where one of these victims had taken shelter, killing him. In addition, an old Palestinian man died from a previous injury he sustained by Israeli forces, and a Palestinian shepherd was killed in a mysterious explosion.

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces. In this context, they destroyed 12 Palestinian houses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including two in Jablaya.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total siege on the OPT. They have isolated Palestinian communities from one another. They have partitioned the Gaza Strip into three separated zones and restricted the movement of people and goods. They have also maintained curfews on some areas in the West Bank.

The Shelling of and Encroachment into Palestinian Areas

Israeli offensive on Jabalya

In a major onslaught against the Gaza Strip, on Thursday 6 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces killed 11 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including two children and an old man, when they invaded the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya and its refugee camp. Six of the victims, including a fireman, were killed by one tank shell, while they were trying to put out fire that had broken out in a house. In addition, about 75 Palestinians, including two journalists, were injured; more than 10 of them seriously. Israeli forces also destroyed 8 houses totally and 3 others partially. Only one of these houses was the target of the Israeli destruction; namely the house of 'Abdul Karim Ziada, the father of Suhail Ziada who was killed while carrying out an armed attack east of Gaza city on 5 May 2002. Israeli forces also destroyed 4 civilian facilities totally and 7 others partially. These developments took place when Israeli forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles and helicopters and covered by intense shelling, encroached into Jabalya and its refugee camp, and moved towards Ziada's house, as part of the retaliatory campaign launched by these forces against houses of Palestinians, who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets, and those wanted by these forces.

According to PCHR's investigation and eyewitness reports, at approximately 00:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with dozens of heavy military vehicles and combat helicopters and covered by intense shelling, moved from the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, approximately 4km to the south on Salah al-Din Street, towards the edges of Jabalya. Then, they moved approximately 1km into al-Quds Street inside the town. On their way, Israeli heavy military vehicles destroyed a number of Palestinian shops, stores and civilian facilities and demolished walls of 3 houses of the families of Sha'ban, Mansour and 'Eid. Then, they moved northward towards Jablaya refugee camp. They surrounded the 250-square-meter, 3-storey house of 'Abdul Karim Mahmoud Ziada, the father of Suhail Ziada who carried out an armed attack against Israeli forces east of Jablaya last year. They forced its 12 residents out together with 9 residents of a neighboring 200-square-meter house, owned by Fawzan Mahmoud Ziada. They handcuffed the men of the second house and held all other residents of the two houses in one room. Then, they searched the two houses and planted explosives inside. At approximately 03:30, they destroyed the two houses and arrested 'Abdul Karim Ziada and Mohammed and Hassan 'Abdul Rahman Khalil.

Israeli combat helicopters launched 6 missiles at the road linking between Jabalya and its refugee camp at an early stage of the incursion. A missile fell near the house of Mohammed Shihda al-Bayari, 54, a muezzin. Al-Bayari was killed by shrapnel throughout the body, and 5 other Palestinian civilians were injured. Another missile hit the house of a 170-square-meter, 2-storey house, destroying its first floor. The house was owned by Mohammed Abu 'Obaid, the father of Karam Abu 'Obaid who carried out an armed attack against "Dogit" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip. The other missiles hit streets injuring a number of Palestinian civilians.

During the incursion, Israeli heavy military vehicles and combat helicopters opened fire at Palestinian houses, severely damaging dozens of them and a number of civilian facilities. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces willfully shot dead Muhsen 'Awadh Abu 'Ouda, 30, a Palestinian policeman, with a live bullet in the head, while he was on his way back home. 'Ouda bled to death.

Also as a result of the Israeli indiscriminate gunfire and shelling, two Palestinian civilians: 'Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Mohammed Miqdad, 21, was killed by a live bullet in the chest, and Na'el Mahmoud Abu Seedu, 30, was killed by several live bullets in the chest and the abdomen.

At approximately 05:30, Israeli occupying forces fired several artillery shells at a 450-square-meter, 4-storey house, in which 6 families counting 21 people live, owned by Ahmed Mohammed Faraj Saleh. The shells hit stores located under the house, burning them. Firemen were not able to reach the house until 06:45. A number of Palestinian civilian gathered to help firemen extinguish the fire. Immediately, an Israeli tank fired a shell at them, although firemen and fire engines were clearly marked. PCHR is investigating the possibility that the shell was a flechette shell as Palestinian medical sources indicate that, that could be the case. Five Palestinian civilians, including a fireman a two children, were killed:

1. Bahaa' Khalil Abu Wrda, 18;

2. Hamza Jibril Qarmout, 17;

3. Naji Isma'il Abu Jalila, 24, a fireman;

4. Tha'er Jaber Rihan, 14;

5. Hamdi 'Othman 'Aabed 'Obaid, 23; and

Maher Ahmed al-Najjar, 14, was killed by a live bullet in the head as Israeli continued to fire at the Palestinian civilians in the area.

A number of gunmen confronted the Israeli invasion. Israeli combat helicopters fired at them, killing 21-year-old Eihab Ahmed Nabhan, 21, with several live bullets in the abdomen and the left shoulder.

Approximately 75 Palestinians were injured. This number includes two journalists: Ahmed Jadallah and Shams 'Oudetallah Shana'a, from Reuters, and 4 medical personnel: 'Awad Ahmed Abu Marasa, a paramedic; Yusri 'Aayesh al-Masri, an ambulance driver; Jihad 'Abdul Karim Abu 'Ataya, director of Jabalya ambulance station; and Mohammed Shihda al-Muqayad, a paramedic. Ambulances faced difficulties in reaching the affected areas. Three ambulances, including an UNRWA ambulance, were damaged.

During this incursion also, approximately 12 Palestinian houses were damaged by the Israeli shelling and gunfire. Following are details of the houses that were destroyed or rendered inhabitable:

1. A 3-storey house with a number of stores owned by Ahmed Mohammed Faraj Saleh, which was hit by a number of tank shells;

2. A 3-storey house owned 'Abdul Karim Mohammed Ziada, which was destroyed by explosives;

3. A house owned by Fawzan Mahmoud Ziada, which was destroyed by explosives;

4. A 2-storey house owned by Mohammed Mustafa by 'Obaid, which was hit by shells;

5. A house owned by Ahmed Saqer, which was severely damaged by shells falling near it;

6. A house owned by 'Abdullah Dahlan, which was damaged by shells falling near it;

7. A house owned by 'Eid al-Sha'er, which was damaged by shells falling near it; and

8. The house of Harbi al-Najjar, which was hit by a number of shells and live bullets while its residents were inside.

Israeli heavy military vehicles widely destroyed the infrastructure of the town and destroyed approximately 11 civilian facilities.

Thursday, 6 March 2003

At approximately 02:30, 8 Israeli military jeeps moved into Bethlehem. They surrounded the house of Ussama Mohammed Ahmed al-'Asa'as, 30, in Wadi Ma'ali area in the south of the town. A fire exchange broke out between Israeli forces and a number of Palestinian gunmen, including al-'Asa'as, who was shot dead by 5 live bullets in the head, the neck, and the left hand, side and thigh.

At approximately 05:30, Israeli occupying forces moved into Siris village, southeast of Jenin, to destroy the house of 'Ersan Hafez Amin al-Kilani, 57. During the destruction of the house, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered in the area and threw stones at the Israeli forces. Israeli soldiers immediately fired at the stone throwers, wounding 4, including two children:

1. Barham Nawaf Barham, 27, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg;

2. Mahmoud Nazzal Mahmoud Samara, 18, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the back;

3. Sayaf 'Awni Hafez 'Awad, 13, wounded by a live bullet in the right ear; and

4. Mohammed Nasim Yousef Salama, 8, wounded by a live bullet in the left hand.

At approximately 12:00, medical sources at Shifa' Hospital in Gaza city declared that al-Mansi 'Abed Rabbu Salem al-Mabhouh, 84, succumbed to an injury he sustained by Israeli occupying forces last month. According to PCHR's investigation, al-Mabhouh, who used to work as a guard, was wounded by a live bullet in the left side fired by Israeli occupying forces that had encroached into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Two Palestinian nurses working in al-Wafa' Hospital in the area were also killed by the Israeli gunfire while working inside the hospital.

At approximately 15:45, Israeli occupying forces at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses and agricultural areas in al-Qarara village, north of the town. A Palestinian farmer, Suleiman Hammad Abu Zhaher, 65, was wounded by a live bullet in the left arm, while farming his land, approximately 700m west of the border.

At approximately 16:30, after a number of Palestinian gunmen fired at Israeli military vehicles positioned in al-Mawares area in Jaba' village, south of Hebron, Israeli soldiers indiscriminately opened fire at the area. A Palestinian woman, Khairia Mahmoud Ahmed Fashafsha, 48, was killed by a medium caliber bullet in the head. According to eyewitnesses, she was feeding her sheep in an animal farm owned by the family, approximately 700m away from her house. The farm is located approximately 600m away from the house. The family didn’t know that she had been shot before approximately 19:00.

At approximately 21:20, about 27 Israeli heavy military vehicles moved from "Nissanit" settlement, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, through the street of al-Nada and al-Karama apartment buildings, which leads to Beit Lahia main road and the entrances of Jabalya refugee camp and the Tal al-Za'tar area. The Israeli military vehicles, covered by intense shelling, moved towards the edges of Beit Lahia and closed the road linking al-Nada apartment buildings, al-'Awda apartment buildings, al-Karama apartment buildings, Beit Hanounn and the Bedouin Village on one side and Beit Lahia and Jabalya refugee camp on the other side. Approximately an hour later, these vehicles moved into Beit Hanoun Street between Salah al-Din Street and al-'Awda apartment buildings. They took position on a hill near the directorate of education of the northern Gaza Strip. This Israeli incursion into the area continued until Monday, 10 March 2003, during which Israeli forces fired at Palestinian civilians, wounding more than 40, mostly children, and severely damaging a number of Palestinian houses. Israeli forces also destroyed a number of civilian facilities, the main road between Jablaya and al-Nada apartment buildings, sewage facilities and electricity and water supplies, and razed large areas of agricultural land. They also detained more than 20 Palestinian families in the area, denying them movement outside. Following are details of the destruction caused by the Israeli military:

1. They demolished the fence of the Ahmed al-Shuqairi secondary school and damaged its buildings.

2. They demolished the fence of the Beit Hanoun UNRWA elementary school and damaged its windows.

3. They demolished walls, broke doors and damaged the building and its contents of the directorate of education of the northern Gaza Strip.

4. They razed a 4-donum area of agricultural land planted with apples and olives, and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Hisham, Mohammed, Khaled, Rajab and 'Arafat Ahmed Rajab Fahman.

5. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and potatoes owned by 'Ata 'Ali Hassan al-Bahri.

6. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives owned by Sha'ban 'Ali Hassan al-Bahri.

7. They razed a 3-donum area of agricultural land, on which 3 greenhouses planted with muskmelons, and destroyed a water pump, an agricultural pool and an animal farm, owned by Haroun Hassan 'Ali al-Riati.

8. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and grapes, on which a 300-square-meter bird farm and a 100-square-meter duck farm stood, owned by Haron Hassan Ali Al-Riata.

9. They razed a 7-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and olives, and destroyed an irrigation network owned by 'Ali D'ib 'Ali al-Barrawi.

10. They razed a 3-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Joma'a Ibrahim Abu Shamallakh.

11. They razed a 6.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Leila, Sumaya and Ghada 'Abdul Raziq Qulaibo.

12. They razed a 65-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus, and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Nabil, Na'el, Nasser, Nada, Najwa and Nazel Suleiman 'Abdul Raziq Qulaibo.

13. They razed a 150-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with citrus, and destroyed an irrigation network owned by heirs of Hidar 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo, heirs of Suleiman 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo, heirs of Daoud 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo, heirs of Sahbaa' 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo, Ishaq 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo and heirs of 'Abdul Raziq 'Ali Qulaibo.

14. They razed a 70-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Yousef 'Abdul Nabi Abu 'Obaid.

15. They destroyed 150 beehives owned by Hassan Yousef 'Abdul Hadi Ahmed.

16. They destroyed 150 beehives owned by Rajab Yousef 'Abdul Hadi Ahmed.

17. They destroyed 150 beehives owned by Ramadan Yousef 'Abdul Hadi Ahmed.

18. They destroyed 150 beehives owned by Yousef 'Abdul Hadi Ahmed.

19. They destroyed 150 beehives owned by Sha'ban 'Eid Ramadan.

20. They destroyed a 20-square-meter rabbit farm owned by Sa'id Hassan Yousef Ahmed.

21. They demolished walls and destroyed the gate of a 750-square-meter factory of flagstones owned by Mohammed Ibrahim Hussein Mansour.

22. They demolished walls and destroyed the gate and parts of marble of a 500-square-meter factory of marble owned by Nafez Subhi Khamis Sorour.

23. They demolished walls, destroyed the gate and damaged contents of a 200-square-meter workshop of repairing electrical sets.

24. They damaged a 150-square-meter shop of paints owned by Mohammed Tariq and Ibrahim Sha'ban.

25. They damaged a pharmacy owned by Mohammed 'Abdul Hadi 'Abdul Rahman Shihab.

26. They destroyed a shop of furniture owned by Mohammed 'Abdul 'Aziz.

27. They destroyed a barbershop owned by Nayef Faraj Saleh.

28. They destroyed the office of lawyer Nasser Ahmed 'Abdullah Kahder.

29. They severely damaged a shop of sweets owned by 'Abdul Fattah Ibrahim 'Ali Hussein.

30. They destroyed a workshop of repairing television sets owned by Majed Hassan 'Obaid.

Friday, 7 March 2003

At approximately 00:30, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Qabatya village, east of Jenin. They surrounded the house Fakhri 'Abdullah Mustafa Nazzal. They called on residents of the house to surrender. When residents of the house got out, Israeli forces called on Mohammed Nasri Abu al-Rub, 25, and Helmi Yousef 'Abdul Rahim Zazzal, 40, to surrender and threatened to destroy the house over them. At approximately 03:00, the two surrendered and the Israeli forces detained them. Later, Israeli forces claimed that they had detained Mohammed Abu al-Rub, the leader of al-Quds Brigade, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, in Jenin.

Saturday, 8 March 2003

At noon, medical sources at Shifa' Hospital in Gaza city declared that Mahmoud Hassan al-Zainati, 35, from Jabalya refugee camp, succumbed to an injury he sustained during the Israeli offensive on Jabalya and its refugee camp on Thursday, 6 March 2003. Al-Zainati was injured by shrapnel from a shell in the chest and limbs.

At approximately 15:30, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including bulldozers, moved approximately 400m into the Boba' area, west of "Kfar Darom" settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah. The bulldozers demolished a Palestinian house and a fence and razed an area of agricultural land:

1. They demolished a 130-square-meter, 2-storey house, which was evacuated due to regular Israeli shelling, owned by Hussein Mohammed Hamdan al-Louh.

2. They demolished a 250-meter-long fence owned by 'Abdul Halim 'Ali Fatayer.

3. They razed a 500-square-meter area of agricultural land owned by Maher Suleiman Abu Salim.

Sunday, 9 March 2003

At approximately 16:00, Israeli occupying forces positioned in the vicinity of "Kfar Darom" settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian houses north of the settlement. A Palestinian child, Suleiman Salem Suleiman Sa'id, 17, from the Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah, was wounded by a live bullet in the chest. PCHR's field worker in the central Gaza Strip reported that Sa'id was wounded while he was on his way back home from school, approximately 1000m north of the settlement.

At approximately 17:00, Israeli soldiers in military locations in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi neighborhood and Khan Yunis refugee camp. A Palestinian child, Ahmed Eyad Ahmed al-Agha, 8, was injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the chest, while he was in the center of Khan Yunis, approximately 1500m away from the source of fire.

At approximately 19:00, Israeli occupying forces at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, shelled Block J in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the border. An artillery shell fell in an alley in the area, approximately 300m away from the border. Three Palestinian women from the same family were injured by shrapnel:

1. 'Abla Mohammed Jaber, 38, seriously injured by shrapnel in the left leg. The leg was later amputated;

2. Rula Mustafa Jaber, 7, injured by shrapnel in the left foot; and

3. Fathiya Mohammed Jaber, 46, injured by shrapnel in the right forearm.

At approximately 19:30, Israeli occupying forces in a military location at the entrance of al-Mawasi area in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian houses in the Tal al-Saultan neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Naji 'Ali Abu 'Armana, 34, was wounded by a live bullet in the right leg.

Monday, 10 March 2003

In the evening, Israeli occupying forces shelled a house in al-Rujbi neighborhood in Hebron, and demolished it over a Palestinian who had taken shelter inside, even though the army knew he was there. They did not resort to less lethal means.

According to information available to PCHR, at approximately 20:30 (after an armed attack carried out by Palestinian gunmen against Israeli occupying forces on Road 160 linking the "Kiryat 'Arba'" settlement and the Ibrahimi Mosque in the south of Hebron) Israeli forces surrounded the house of Nazmi Farid al-Rujbi, 55, in al-Rujbi neighborhood, south of the aforementioned settlement, claiming that one of those who carried out the armed attack had hid inside. They shelled the house, without making any attempt to detain him. Fire broke out in the house, which was totally destroyed. At approximately 07:00 on the following day, an Israeli military bulldozer razed the ruins of the house. The body of Hafez Farid al-Rujbi, 24, the owner's brother, was found in the ruins. Israeli forces mutilated the body, before the bulldozer buried it under the rubble. The 150-square-meter, 3-storey house was uninhabited as its residents left it nearly a month ago after it had been partially demolished. Later, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on its Arabic web site that units of "battalion 50 of the Nahal and the Laveih brigades" were surrounding the house, which they had identify as the source of fire. They fired anti-tank missiles at the house, while a heavy armored D9 bulldozer was on its way to the house to demolish it. This strongly indicates that the Israeli forces were aware that there were people inside the house when they carried out the demolition.

At approximately 23:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a bulldozer, moved from "Kissufim" settler road and al-Matahen crossroads approximately 2km into al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis. Covered by intense gunfire, they seized control over the main and branch roads in the village. Then, the bulldozer razed a 2.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives in the Abu Lihya area in the center of the village, owned by 'Abdul 'Aziz Sa'id Salim al-Saqqa. Israeli soldiers also raided an 80-square-meter, tin-made rural house, which served as a store. They planted explosives in the house and destroyed it. As a result of this destruction, a 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lives, owned by Zaki Khamis Mousa al-Saqqa, was severely damaged. A number of neighboring houses were also damaged. According to al-Saqqa, Israeli forces did not ask him and his neighbors to evacuate the houses before the destruction. Before their withdrawal from the area at approximately 02:00 on the following day, Israeli forces for no apparent reason damaged roads and telephone and electricity supplies.

Later, the Israeli radio quoted Israeli military sources claiming that Israeli forces demolished a building in Khan Yunis, which Palestinians used to manufacture explosives. The sources also claimed that the Israeli forces had found bombs and explosives, which they made inactive.

Tuesday, 11 March 2003

At approximately 02:00, around 50 Israeli soldiers entered the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. They raided and searched 3 Palestinian houses, and arrested 3 of their residents:

1. 'Ata Yousef Mohammed Qassem, 28, a taxi driver;

2. Tamer Mahmoud 'Abdul 'Aziz Zwaidi, 28; and

3. 'Awadh Hussein Ahmed al-Kafarna, 43.

At approximately 08:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including 3 bulldozers, moved approximately 200m into al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza city. The bulldozers demolished 5 empty Palestinian houses, whose residents had evacuated at the beginning of the Intifada due to Israeli shelling, and razed areas of agricultural land:

1. They demolished a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Nahidh Mijalli Yousef al-Wehaidi.

2. They demolished a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Majdi Mijalli al-Wehaidi.

3. They demolished a 400-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Yousef Mijalli al-Wehaidi.

4. They demolished a 160-square-meter house owned by Hamdi Mahmoud al-Tura'ei.

5. They demolished a 120-square-meter house, which was partially demolished on 14 February 2003, owned by 'Aayed 'Ouda al-'Aaidi.

6. They razed a 1.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, palms and fruits, and demolished a 16-square-meter bird farm and a 70-square-meter car park owned by 'Aadel 'Atwa al-Tallaa'.

7. They destroyed a well, demolished a 24-square-meter room and uprooted 10 olive trees owned by 'Adnan Kamal al-Nabih.

8. They destroyed a well owned by Bahjat Abu Sha'ban and brothers.

9. They uprooted 5 olive trees owned by 'Adnan 'Ouda al-'Aaidi.

At approximately 11:00, an Israeli tank positioned in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, fired 3 shells at al-Nimsawi neighborhood to the east. The shells hit an apartment building and caused sever damaged to 3 flats:

1. A 112-square-meter flat, in which 7 people lived, owned by Hikmi Salam Khalil al-Roumi;

2. A 112-square-meter flat, in which 7 people lived, owned by Hassan 'Abdul Rahman Hassan Hussein; and

3. A 112-square-meter flat, in which 5 people lived, owned by 'Omar Saleh 'Abdul 'Aziz Hijju.

Then, Israeli forces opened fire at the area, even though there was no clashes in the area.

At approximately 15:00, 5 Israeli heavy military vehicles, including a bulldozer, moved approximately 200m into al-Salam neighborhood in the south of Rafah, adjacent to the Egyptian border. They demolished 3 Palestinian houses:

1. A 120-squar-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 11 people lived, owned by 'Eyada Abu 'Arar;

2. A 100-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lived, owned by Mohammed Sabri Isma'il Abu 'Arar; and

3. A 130-square-meter, under-construction house owned by Mahmoud Isma'il Abu 'Arar.

At approximately 19:45, Israeli occupying forces in a military location at the entrance of al-Mawasi area in the west of Rafah opened fire at the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Salah Ibrahim Abu al-'Einain, 33, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the left leg, while he was inside his house, approximately 400m away from the source of fire. Approximately 10 minutes later, an ambulance arrived at the area to evacuate him to hospital, but Israeli forces opened fire at the area again. A paramedic, Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Qerem, 45, from Khan Yunis, was injured in the left hand by shrapnel from live bullets that hit a wall near the ambulance. Abu al-'Einain was evacuated to hospital by walking from house to house to avoid the Israeli gunfire.

Wednesday, 12 March 2003

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Saida village, northeast of Tulkarm. They opened fire at Palestinian houses and imposed a curfew on the village. Then, they ordered residents of the village aged 15-50 to get out of houses and gather in a secondary school. Israeli forces raided dozens of houses. Israeli heavy military vehicles hit a number of houses damaging their facades. At approximately 08:00, an exchange of fire broke out between a number of Palestinian gunmen and Israeli forces. A gunman, Rami Taleb Sa'id Ashqar, 21, was killed. Israeli forces kept his body for several hours, before they allowed it to be taken away by an ambulance. According to medical sources, Ashqar was shot dead by 8 live bullets from a shot distance; one in the left eye, two in the head, 4 in the right side of the torso, and one in the chest.

Extra-Judicial Assassination

As part of the Israeli state-affirmed policy of extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian activists, Israeli occupying forces killed a senior Hamas leader and 3 of his guards on Saturday 8 March 2003. Four Israeli combat helicopters flew over Gaza City and launched 4 missiles at a civilian car, in which 5 Palestinians were traveling, in a densely populated area in the city.

According to PCHR's investigation, at approximately 08:15 on Saturday morning, 4 Israeli helicopter gunships launched 4 missiles at a civilian car, a white Mitsubishi, in which 5 persons were traveling southwards on Palestine Street, which links the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood and the center of Gaza City. The missiles hit the car directly, destroying it. Four of its occupants were killed:

1. Ibrahim Ahmed Khaled al-Maqadma, 55, from al-Boreij refugee camp, a senior member of Hamas movement;

2. Khaled Hassan Joma'a, 30, from Jabalya;

3. 'Abdul Rahman Zuhair 'Abdul Rahman al-'Aamoudi, 29, from al-Shati refugee camp; and

4. 'Alaa' 'Ouda al-Shukri, 30, al-Shukri, 30, from al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City.

The fifth person in the car, Riad Mohammed al-Dada, 30, from al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City, was critically injured. Two bystanders were also injured. A number of nearby houses and a civilian car that was traveling behind the targeted car were severely damaged.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the decision to assassinate al-Maqadma was taken in advance by Israeli officials, claiming that al-Maqadma had planned military attacks carried out by the Hamas movement against Israeli targets.

Since the beginning of 2003, Israeli occupying forces have carried out 5 similar assassinations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, showing total disregard for international law and for the lives of Palestinian civilians. 12 Palestinians were killed in these attacks, 9 of whom were targeted. Since the beginning of the current Intifada 208 Palestinians have been killed in assassination attacks carried out by the Israeli occupying forces. 81 of those killed were non-targeted bystanders.

Shooting at Palestinian Civilians

Thursday, 6 March 2003

At approximately 19:00, a number of Palestinian youth and children gathered in the Ras al-'Ein neighborhood in Nablus and threw stones at Israeli soldiers who were patrolling in the area. Immediately, Israeli soldiers opened fire. A Palestinian civilian, "Mohammed Rabah" Sa'id Hawash, 16, was wounded by a live bullet in the chest fired at him by Israeli soldiers from a distance of 5m. His brother and friend carried him away from the area of clashes. An ambulance evacuated him to hospital, but he succumbed to his wound 10 minutes later.

Friday, 7 March 2003

At approximately 06:00, Israeli occupying forces, that had encroached into the Tal al-Za'tar area, north of Jabalya, opened fire at Palestinians in the area. A member of the Palestinian National Security Force, Majdi al-Swairki, 22, was wounded by a live bullet in the pelvis, while he was near a security site in the area. Soon, clashes between a number of Palestinian civilians, who threw stones, and Israeli forces erupted. The clashes continued until the evening, during which 22 civilians, including 15 children, were wounded.

Saturday, 8 March 2003

At approximately 13:30, Israeli occupying forces, that, like the previous day, had encroached into the Tal al-Za'tar area, north of Jabalya, opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians who threw stones at the forces. A Palestinian civilian, Mufid Sa'id al-Dha'eifi, 35, who passed by the area, was shot dead by a live bullet in the head. In addition, 15 other civilians, mostly children, were wounded:

1. Jamal Joma'a al-Sawarka, 19, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

2. 'Alaa' al-Dawahel, 19, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

3. Mohammed Abu Ghaben, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg;

4. Mohammed al-Najjar, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the neck;

5. 'Abdul Rahman Matar, 13, wounded by a live bullet in the head;

6. Baker 'Abbas, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the left thigh;

7. Mohammed 'Awni 'Aamer, 14, wounded by a live bullet in the left leg;

8. Mohammed al-Aswad, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the pelvis;

9. Mohammed 'Ali al-Madhoun, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the left thigh;

10.Shaher 'Oliyan Abu Shammala, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the hand;

11.Mohammed 'Ezziddin Abu Jalhoum, 11, wounded by a live bullet in the foot;

12.'Alaa' Yusri Abu 'Arabiya, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the left foot;

13.'Adnan 'Abdullah Abu Esbaitan, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the left foot;

14.Adham Badwan, 22, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg; and

15.Zuhair 'Abdul Rahman 'Oliyan, 35, an engineer form Rafah working in a construction project in the area, wounded by a live bullet in the side.

Sunday, 9 March 2003

All morning, Israeli occupying forces that had encroached into the Tal al-Za’tar area north of Jabalya, had been firing at a number of Palestinian children who threw stones at them. Eight of the children and 3 other civilians were wounded:

1. Nihad Khalil Zhaher, 14, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the head;

2. 'Abdul Rahman Isma'il Hammad, 16, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg;

3. Hassan 'Abdullah Hassouna, 15, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the right forearm;

4. Nasser al-Farran, 17, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the right forearm;

5. Mohammed Hassan al-Shirafi, 17, from Jabalya, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the head;

6. 'Othman Riadh Khilla, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza city, wounded by a live bullet in the right foot;

7. Hassan Ahmed al-Nukhailat, 16, from Jabalya, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head;

8. Tayseer 'Olwan, 19, from Jabalya, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest;

9. 'Abdul Majid al-Mabhouh, 16, from Jabalya, wounded by a live bullet in the feet;

10.Mo'ammar Mohammed Mandour, 27, from Jabalya, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg; and

11.Jihad Abu 'Ouda, 21, from Beit Hanoun, wounded by two live bullets in the right leg and arm.

Collective Punishment Measures against Families of Wanted Palestinians and Those Who have Carried out Armed Attacks against Israeli Targets

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces.

At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 6 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into Qalqilya. They surrounded the house of Ibrahim 'Abdul Rahman Dahmas, who had been detained by Israeli forces. They called through loudspeakers on the 14 residents of the 120-square-meter, 2-storey house to get out. Then, they planted explosives in the house, and destroyed it at approximately 04:00.

At approximately 05:30 on the same day, Israeli occupying forces moved into Siris village, southeast of Jenin, to destroy the house of 'Ersan Hafez Amin al-Kilani, 57. During the destruction, Israeli soldiers fired at villagers who gathered in the area, wounding 4 of them. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers knocked in the door and forced the 7 residents of the 120-square-meter house out. They gave the family 10 minutes to evacuate their belongings, but before the end of this period, they planted explosives in the house and destroyed it at approximately 07:00. One of the owner's sons has been detained by Israeli forces since 27 March 2001 for his resistance activities, and the other son was killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus on 30 September 2000. Two neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 01:20 on Sunday, 9 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into Qabatya village, east of Jenin. They surrounded the house of Mohammed Nasri Abu al-Rub in al-Damouni. They forced the 12 residents of the 200-square-meter, 2-storey house out and planted explosives inside. At approximately 03:30, they destroyed it. Abu al-Rub was arrested by Israeli forces on Friday morning, 7 March 2002.

At approximately 05:00 on the same day, Israeli occupying forces destroyed a 300-square-meter, 2-storey house, in which 5 people lived, which belongs to the family of Sufian "Mohammed Majed" Mousa Ehriaz, 21, who was killed while carrying out an armed attack against Israeli forces, in al-Sha'aba neighborhood in Hebron. A number of neighboring houses were damaged. Israeli forces arrested Ehraiz's bother, Nader, 26, on Saturday, 8 March 2003.

At approximately 06:00 on the same day, Israeli occupying forces destroyed a 240-square-meter, 5-storey house, in which 7 people lived, which belongs to the family of Mahmoud 'Emran Salim al-Qawasmi, 20, from Hebron, who carried out a suicide bombing in Haifa. Two flats over and under the house were severely damaged. On the day of the bombing in Haifa on 5 March 2003, Israeli forces arrested al-Qawasmi's father, 52, and his two brothers, Shadi, 26, and Ahmed, 24.

At approximately 07:00 on the same day, Israeli occupying forces destroyed a 300-square-meter, 2-storey house, in which 5 people lived, belonging to the family of Hazem Fawzi 'Abdul Sami' al-Qawasmi, 18, who carried out an armed attack against an Israeli settlement on Thursday, 6 March 2003. Two neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 05:30 on Monday, 10 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces destroyed a house, in which 9 people lived, belonging to the family of Muhsen Mohammed 'Omar al-Qawasmi, 20, who carried out an armed attack against an Israeli settlement on Thursday, 6 March 2003. Two neighboring houses were damaged. Israeli forces arrested al-Qawasmi's brothers, Muhannad, 27, and Mazen, 24 on Saturday, 8 March 2003.

At approximately 01:20 on Tuesday, 11 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Seilat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin. They surrounded the house of Ghaleb Hassan Jardat. They forced out the 9 residents of the 150-square-meter, 2-storey house, and residents of neighboring houses. At approximately 04:45, they destroyed the house. Israeli forces claimed that the house was destroyed because the owner's son is wanted by them for his resistance activities.

At the same time, Israeli occupying forces surrounded a 150-square-meter, 2-storey house in Ras al-Joura neighborhood in Hebron, owned by Mohammed Saleh al-Qawasmi, and destroyed it. Israeli forces also raided another house owned by al-Qawasmi and arrested him.

After they had demolished the house of Nazmi Farid al-Rujbi in Hebron on Monday, 10 March 2003, an Israeli military bulldozer started demolishing a 350-square-meter, 2-storey house owned by Tawfiq Subhi Abu Hamdiya, without prior warning, while the 15 people living in the house were still inside. Residents of the house asked the neighbors for help. The neighbors intervened and asked Israeli forces to suspend the demolition until the family got out. At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces planted explosives in the house and destroyed it.

A Palestinian Killed by a Mysterious Explosion

On Sunday evening, 9 March 2003, Ribhi Mahmoud 'Abdul Raziq 'Obaid, 48, from Far'oun village, south of Tulkarm, was killed as a result of a mysterious explosion, while he was grazing his sheep.

According to information available to PCHR, at approximately 16:30, while 'Obaid and two other Palestinians were grazing their sheep on a land located in the north of Far'oun village, they noticed 4 sacks of various colors with Hebrew words written on them. They went and opened a sack. It was full of a white material similar to sugar. They moved back, but 'Obaid wanted to drive into the sacks. Immediately, a heavy explosion occurred and 'Obaid was killed. Later, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on its Arabic web site that Israeli military sources estimated that "the Palestinian who was killed in Far'oun village, south of Tulkram, was on his way to Israel with a bomb." However, eyewitnesses refuted this claim.

PCHR calls:

1. Upon the international community to provide immediate and independent international protection for the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

2. Upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to reconvene to take effective measures to protect Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in accordance with their obligations under article 1 and article 146, to ensure the respect of the Convention.

3. Upon the international community to investigate and prosecute those believed to have committed war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories before international courts.

4. Upon the ICRC to enhance its presence, expand its activities, and intensify its field operations throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

5. Upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israeli Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights.

6. Upon the international community to provide humanitarian and medical assistance for the Palestinian people, whose living conditions are continuing to deteriorate as a result of the continued siege imposed by Israeli occupation forces on the entire Occupied Palestinian Territories.

[1] See details on page == of this report and PCHR's press release on 6 March 2003.